Predicting the consequences of climate change is of utmost importance to mitigate impacts on vulnerable ecosystems; plant hydraulic traits are particularly useful proxies for predicting functional disruptions potentially occurring in the near future. This study assessed the current and future regional patterns of leaf water potential at turgor loss point (Ψtlp) by measuring and projecting the Ψtlp of 166 vascular plant species (159 angiosperms and 7 gymnosperms) across a large climatic range spanning from alpine to Mediterranean areas in NE Italy. For angiosperms, random forest models predicted a consistent shift toward more negative values in low-elevation areas, while for gymnosperms the pattern was more variable, particularly in the alpine sector (i.e., Alps and Prealps). Simulations were also developed to evaluate the number of threatened species under two Ψtlp plasticity scenarios (low vs high plasticity), and it was found that in the worst-case scenario approximately 72% of the angiosperm species and 68% of gymnosperms within a location were at risk to exceed their physiological plasticity. The different responses to climate change by specific clades might produce reassembly in natural communities, undermining the resilience of natural ecosystems to climate change.

Projections of leaf turgor loss point shifts under future climate change scenarios

Tordoni, Enrico;Petruzzellis, Francesco;Di Bonaventura, Azzurra;Pavanetto, Nicola;Tomasella, Martina;Nardini, Andrea;Martini, Fabrizio;Bacaro, Giovanni
2022

Abstract

Predicting the consequences of climate change is of utmost importance to mitigate impacts on vulnerable ecosystems; plant hydraulic traits are particularly useful proxies for predicting functional disruptions potentially occurring in the near future. This study assessed the current and future regional patterns of leaf water potential at turgor loss point (Ψtlp) by measuring and projecting the Ψtlp of 166 vascular plant species (159 angiosperms and 7 gymnosperms) across a large climatic range spanning from alpine to Mediterranean areas in NE Italy. For angiosperms, random forest models predicted a consistent shift toward more negative values in low-elevation areas, while for gymnosperms the pattern was more variable, particularly in the alpine sector (i.e., Alps and Prealps). Simulations were also developed to evaluate the number of threatened species under two Ψtlp plasticity scenarios (low vs high plasticity), and it was found that in the worst-case scenario approximately 72% of the angiosperm species and 68% of gymnosperms within a location were at risk to exceed their physiological plasticity. The different responses to climate change by specific clades might produce reassembly in natural communities, undermining the resilience of natural ecosystems to climate change.
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https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/gcb.16400
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3028465
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